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Dominick Dunne

Dominick Dunne

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Also Known As: Dominick John Dunne Died: August 26, 2009
Born: October 29, 1925 Cause of Death: Cancer
Birth Place: Hartford, Connecticut, USA Profession: author, investigative journalist, producer, executive, TV floor manager

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A chronicler of American crime and wealth with few peers, Dominick Dunne was a best-selling and controversial author and journalist whose coverage of such sensational spectacles as the O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow murder trials brought him to national prominence. An affluent but unhappy childhood had given him insight into the emotional landscape of the society figures he would cover later in life, but he began his professional life as a writer and producer for television and feature films. Bouts with alcoholism forced him to re-evaluate his life, and he launched a second career as the author of such popular novels as The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1985), An Inconvenient Woman (1990) and A Season in Purgatory (1993), all of which drew on his own keen understanding of the lives of the idle rich. But it was his trial reportage for Vanity Fair that earned him his greatest acclaim, though his interest was sparked by unspeakably tragic circumstances - the murder of his daughter, actress Dominique Dunne, in 1982. Dunne's coverage of such high-profile cases as the Menendez Brothers and von Bulow was praised for a lack of sensationalism and a degree of empathy for the families of the victims; however, it was...

A chronicler of American crime and wealth with few peers, Dominick Dunne was a best-selling and controversial author and journalist whose coverage of such sensational spectacles as the O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow murder trials brought him to national prominence. An affluent but unhappy childhood had given him insight into the emotional landscape of the society figures he would cover later in life, but he began his professional life as a writer and producer for television and feature films. Bouts with alcoholism forced him to re-evaluate his life, and he launched a second career as the author of such popular novels as The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1985), An Inconvenient Woman (1990) and A Season in Purgatory (1993), all of which drew on his own keen understanding of the lives of the idle rich. But it was his trial reportage for Vanity Fair that earned him his greatest acclaim, though his interest was sparked by unspeakably tragic circumstances - the murder of his daughter, actress Dominique Dunne, in 1982. Dunne's coverage of such high-profile cases as the Menendez Brothers and von Bulow was praised for a lack of sensationalism and a degree of empathy for the families of the victims; however, it was the outrage and compassion that marked his reports from the O.J. Simpson trial, as well as his frequent commentary on the case for television and print news, that transformed him from well-regarded author to bonafide celebrity. Post-Simpson, Dunne enjoyed a degree of fame rarely afforded to authors, including his own true-crime television series, "Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege and Justice" (Court TV/truTV, 2002- ). Despite a well-publicized battle with bladder cancer, he returned to court coverage for O.J. Simpson's trial for kidnapping and armed robbery in 2008, determined to see his nemesis of sorts found guilty - even if it was, literally, the last thing he were to do.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
4.
 Last Mogul, The (2005) Cast
5.
 Addicted to Love (1997) Matheson
6.
 Burn, Hollywood, Burn (1997) Himself
7.
 Life Remembers (1993)
8.
 Intimate Portrait: Joan Collins (2003) Interviewee
10.
 Jennifer Jones: Portrait of a Lady (2001) Interviewee
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Milestones close milestones

:
Served in World War II, earning a Bronze Star for bravery for the Battle of the Bulge
:
Worked as a stage manager on "The Howdy Doody Show" (NBC)
:
Was the associate director on "Producers' Showcase" (NBC)
1957:
Relocated to Los Angeles, to work on "Playhouse 90" (CBS)
:
Served as vice president at Four Star Pictures
1971:
His film, "The Panic in Needle Park," was shown at the Cannes Film Festival
1979:
Left Hollywood due to his problems with addiction, and moved to rural Oregon
1982:
Published first novel, <i>The Winners</i>
1984:
Wrote first article for <i>Vanity Fair</i> magazine, about the trial of his daughters murder, titled "Justice"
:
Began a long-term position with <i>Vanity Fair</i> magazine, as a trial reporter
1985:
Released second novel, <i>The Two Mrs. Grenvilles</i>, based on the real-life murder of Hanover National Bank heir William Woodward in the mid-1950s
1985:
Repoted on the trial of Clas von Bulow for <i>Vanity Fair</i> magazine
1987:
His book was turned into a 1987 TV-movie, "The Two Mrs. Grenvilles" starring Ann-Margret
1989:
Repoted on the trial of Eric and Lyle Menendez for <i>Vanity Fair</i> magazine
1990:
Wrote the book, <i>An Inconvenient Woman</i>, about the murder of Vicki Morgan, the alleged mistress of a member of Ronald Reagan¿s inner circle; was later turned into a 1991 TV-movie
1993:
Penned the book, <i>A Season in Purgatory</i>, a fictional story closely resembling the unsolved murder of Martha Moxley; was also turned in a 1996 TV-Movie
1995:
Reported on the trial of OJ Simpson, who was charged with and later acquitted of the murders of wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman, for <i>Vanity Fair</i> magazine
1997:
Penned the book, <i>Another City, Not My Own: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir</i>, a semi-fictional account of the OJ Simpson trial
1999:
Wrote the book, <i>The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-known Name Dropper</i>, about the high and low points of his personal life
2001:
Reported on the disappearance of intern Chandra Levy, who was having an affair with Congressman Gary Condit, for <i>Vanity Fair</i> magazine
2002:
Reported on the trial of Kennedy relative Michael Skakel, who was convicted for the murder of Martha Moxley, for <i>Vanity Fair</i> magazine
2003:
Hosted "Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege, and Justice," an American crime TV series on on truTV (formerly Court TV)
2008:
Reported on his final trial, the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson, who was convicted and sentenced to 33 years in prison on kidnapping and armed robbery charges
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Education

Williams College: Williamstown , Massachusetts -
Canterbury School: New Milford , Connecticut -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ellen Griffin. Died in January 1997 at the age of 64; had been stricken with multiple sclerosis.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Griffin Dunne. Actor.
daughter:
Dominique Dunne. Actor. Murdered by her boyfriend.
son:
Alex Dunne.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Another City, Not My Own"
"Justice: Crimes, Trials and Punishments" Crown

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